3. DON’T SAY SOMETHING ON SOCIAL YOU WOULDN’T SAY TO SOMEONE’S FACE
Social media makes us all a little bolder, and a little stupider.
There’s a weirdness to social media and any online communication that makes us think pot-shots are worth it, that hurting other people is fair game, and that public ridicule is in season.
Some of the most toxic things ever said to me have been said by people I’ve never met, never will meet, and who don’t really know me. Ditto for you if you’ve written anything. Just read the comments on this blog, my Amazon reviews or Podcast Ratings. We live in a one-star universe where people delight in tearing down people they don’t know and don’t care about.
Don’t get me wrong…the vast majority of interaction I have online is extremely positive. Good people gather online too. And sometimes the criticism is fair. I have a lot to learn.
But what’s missing online is actual human interaction. That look into another person’s eyes. That scan of their face that notes the hurt you just caused them. The realization that they’re a person just like you.
Look, I’m tempted to respond in kind—to get back at a critic. And then I think, “No, there’s no point.”
The reason there’s no point to responding in kind is that first, you won’t win. You won’t win because nobody wins at that game. Nobody. They don’t. You don’t. The mission doesn’t. You end up behaving like a 6-year-old who can only think about themselves.
Sometimes you do need to respond to someone. And when you do, don’t let your emotions get control of your fingers. Type prayerfully.
When you’re responding, imagine that you’re talking to the person face to face. And that you care about them. And that they’re made in the image of God. You might even try to love them.
That changes a lot, doesn’t it?
Scott Sauls is one of the best I know at trying to find that voice on social media and in public discourse again and again. He’s worth a follow. It’s time to be civil, again. (I interviewed Scott on this subject here.)
Just know this, leaders: You can disagree with someone without being disagreeable.
4. ASK YOURSELF, ‘FIVE YEARS FROM NOW, WHAT WILL I WISH I HAD DONE?”
I know there’s a lot of verb tenses in that question, but the question has helped me so much over the years.
Leadership is emotionally confusing. You get kicked a lot. You end up being misunderstood, and sometimes you are at a loss on how to respond to a difficult situation.
When you’re in that place, ask yourself: Five years from now, what will I wish I had done?
I don’t know why, but that question is so clarifying to me. It makes me swallow hurtful words. It makes me search for the high road. And sometimes it makes me push an issue I am too afraid to push because five years from now I’ll know I wish I had done it.
When you don’t know what to do, ask yourself…five years from now, what will I wish I had done?
5. HUMBLE YOUR TALK. ACCELERATE YOUR WALK.
All of us in leadership can talk today at an unprecedented level.
Thanks to social media, blogs, podcasts and so many of the other channels at our disposal, talking about what we’re doing has never been easier.
Which surfaces the always-present tension of wanting to make things seem better than they are.
In an age where most people seem to be accelerating their talk more than they’re accelerating their walk, one of the best things you can do to increase your integrity is to humble your talk and accelerate your walk.
If you simply make your talk match your walk, the gap between who you are and who you want to be becomes smaller almost instantly.
Increase your walk. Humble your talk.
OF ALL THE WORK YOU DO…WORKING ON YOURSELF PAYS BACK MOST
If you’re going to work on your character, not just your competency, how do you do it?
That’s why I wrote my latest book, Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.
In Didn’t See It Coming, I not only outline how issues like cynicism, moral compromise, pride and other challenges show up in your life. I show you how to combat them and beat them.
There’s an antidote to each of the seven and some very practical steps you can take so issues like cynicism, pride, irrelevance and emptiness no longer define your present or your future. And once you’ve burned out, you don’t need to stay burned out. You can thrive again, and I show you how.
You can pick up your copy of Didn’t See It Coming here (hardcover, AudioBook or Kindle) and once again (or for the first time) close the gap between who you are and who you want to be.
WIN FREE STARBUCKS THIS WEEK!
Don’t own a copy of Didn’t See It Coming yet? This is your week!
Visit a book retailer near you and take a photo of you with the book at a bricks and mortar bookstore with the hashtag #didntseeitcomingbook.
Post the pic with the #didntseeitcomingbook hashtag on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook (or all three).
We’ll draw 10 winners randomly and award you a $25 Starbucks gift card.
Contest runs from Monday, September 17, 2018, to Sunday, September 23, 2018.
SO WHAT HELPS YOU?
What’s helping you close the gap between who you are and who you’re called to be?
This article originally appeared here.